The game between the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers is only a few hours away, and while there are two points up for grabs in standings, that won’t be the story in Florida tonight. Everyone is aching to know just how Alex Ovechkin will return to NHL action after performing so poorly in Sochi.
Russia’s collapse is hardly all on Ovechkin’s back. His head coach continued to stick him out there with Evgeni Malkin despite the duo having never once clicked during international play, and that didn’t allow the typical sniper to carry the puck as often as he’d like.
Sochi is in the rear-view mirror now. That opportunity is gone, and Ovechkin will need to realize that if the Capitals are going to have a prayer of making the playoffs this season. Head coach Adam Oates has overseen a borderline mess in Washington all year long, and (like always) it’ll come down to No. 8′s ability to play out of his mind.
For the Panthers, this is more about pride than a playoff chance. They aren’t mathematically eliminated yet and management has made it clear that they don’t want to see any quit out of the club. Just what can Jonathan Huberdeau and Co. accomplish without Aleksander Barkov?
Tune in to find out.
Date: February 27
Start Time: 7:30 P.M. ET
TV Info: CSN-DC, FS-F
Live Stream: NHL GameCenter